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Ecological land survey in Quebec

Ecological land survey in Quebec

Forestry chronicle 68(1): 42-52

After a brief review of floristic classifications, ecological survey, as carried out in Quebec, is described. Three stages of development of ecological survey over the past twenty-five years are identified: (1) the pioneer work of Jurdant; (2) major ecological surveys from the late 1960s to the late 1970s; and (3) the diversification of the groups involved in ecological land surveys beginning in the 1980s, including universities, the Quebec Environment Department (MENVIQ) and the Quebec Department of Energy and Resources (MER). Intended for use in integrated land management, ecological survey must be an effective integrator of the various ecological evaluations; the information must be easily communicable and the methodology must he flexible. Ecological land classification has two dimensions: (1) taxonomic; and (2) cartographic. In the taxonomic units, the ecological region, the ecological type and the ecological phase are identified. In cartographic terms, local (ecological phase and type), regional (ecological system and sub-system) and national (ecological district and region) resolution is identified. Quebec universities, MER and MENVIQ are presently involved in ecological land surveys. The new Forest Act, which was enacted in 1986 and which provides for sustainable yield and more intensive forest management, is a major force behind the promotion of the use of ecological inventories as the basis for management activities. Mapping of the ecological regions (1:1,250,000) has almost been completed in Quebec. Total coverage of the commercial forest as a function of ecological districts (1:250,000) could be completed within five years, and the mapping of ecological types (1:20,000) could be completed in 20 years at a rate of 10,000 km a year. Although in the past ecological land surveys have been used primarily for environmental impact analyses (for instance, the installation of hydroelectric equipment and transportation corridors), the ecological framework is presently being used to prepare development plans for a number of regional county municipalities (RCMs). Pilot projects are under way to assess the potential applications of the ecological framework to forestry as part of intensive management efforts. Improvements are needed in both the accessibility of the information provided by the ecological framework (maps, site guides) and the development of interpretative tools for silvicultural measures.

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Accession: 002351253

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.5558/tfc68042-1

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